First day of Writer’s Workshop!

I love the first day of writer’s workshop. It is the beginning of something beautiful. The kids put crayon to paper and find a new voice, a new vibrant form of communication. Becoming a writer makes kids powerful! Today we read, When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really, Angry, and examined how the author, Molly, told her story. We learned that writing is a way of talking with our crayons and pencils and paper rather than our voice. Writing is a way of telling using words and pictures.
Here are some of our budding writers at work. It was a proud, proud day!

IMG_1902.JPG

IMG_1903.JPG

IMG_1904.JPG

IMG_1905.JPG

IMG_1906.JPG

IMG_1907.JPG

IMG_1908.JPG

IMG_1910.JPG

What’s In a Name?

Yesterday we explored our names a little more in depth. We examined the capital letter at the beginning of our name as well as counting the letters in our name and recording the numeral. We also got in a little fine motor practice with our scissors.

IMG_1892.JPG

IMG_1899.JPG

IMG_1895.JPG

Our Inclusive Community: Preparing the Learning Environment Together

One way our class is building an inclusive learning community is by sharing the role of setting up the physical environment. While a lot of that responsibility is only developmentally appropriate for me, there are many tasks the children can take charge of. When setting up the classroom this year I deliberately left certain areas of the classroom undone and set up a plan for how the children and I could create those parts of the classroom together. There was even a point in which I was taking items down off the walls to make room for the children to take charge.
On the first day of kindergarten, the children made their own name tags for their coat hooks using their table name tag I had made as reference and a little creativity. The children were so proud to find their own coat hook the next morning, many children making a point of telling their parents about making their own name tag. It was a powerful moment of independence and collaboration.

IMG_1846.JPG
On the second day of kindergarten we completed a more decorative project for the bulletin board above our SMART Board. This board is too high to hang learning tools for the kids to refer to, making it the perfect spot for a little beauty just for beauty’s sake. We read the book Shades of People and discussed the beautiful rainbow of people that made up our class.

IMG_1851.JPG
The kids then made their own uniquely beautiful creations to hang under the banner of “peace, love, and kindergarten”.

IMG_1838.JPG

IMG_1837.JPG
The result was bold, graphic, and full of the whimsy of children’s art.

IMG_1850.JPG

IMG_1849.JPG

IMG_1847.JPG
One of my favorite song lyrics is a line that goes, “Keep my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.” I’m thankful to have my head in the kindergarten clouds.

M is for Monster!

The kids got very creative turning their “m”s into monsters! We even had a coconut-eating monster! We have been working on finding that balance between following directions and being creative. For example the kids were able to decide where to glue their feathers and how many to use but were expected to use a small drop of glue to attach each feather.
Here are some monster creations.

20140626-131126-47486536.jpg

20140626-131127-47487526.jpg

20140626-131129-47489503.jpg

20140626-131128-47488516.jpg

20140626-131154-47514910.jpg

20140626-131153-47513920.jpg

20140626-131155-47515860.jpg

Math Work Time

Over the past few days the children have been introduced to a variety of math work that provides them opportunities to develop number sense, counting skills, spatial reasoning, and problem solving skills. Today the children began making math choices and working around the room on their choices.

20140617-132845-48525161.jpg

20140617-132846-48526216.jpg

20140617-132848-48528384.jpg

20140617-132847-48527295.jpg
Another important part of work time the children are learning is to clean up before they make a new choice.

20140617-132955-48595186.jpg

F is for…

Fish! Today we watched the story of Rainbow Fish on the SMARTBoard and then create our own fish from a paper plate. Each child cut a wedge from a plate. The hole become the fish’s mouth and the wedge the tail. Each child drew scales and decorations. Last each child glued on one glittering scale.

20140617-131542-47742619.jpg

20140617-131544-47744650.jpg

20140617-131545-47745614.jpg

20140617-131543-47743633.jpg

20140617-131548-47748174.jpg

20140617-131550-47750346.jpg

20140617-131549-47749155.jpg

20140617-131546-47746531.jpg

Summer School Schedule

Here is a quick summary of a day in the life of a summer school kindergartener.

Morning Work: Math manipulatives, books or coloring at tables and a great time to chat with friends.

Morning Meeting: A time to welcome friends to a new day of learning. We also learn about the calendar and the days of the week. We set a tone of positivity and productivity by reading and discussing the Raven Rules.

Letter of the Day: Whole group practice of letter name, sound and formation. Independent practice with coloring the corresponding page in our alphabet books.

Recess: Fresh air and friendship!

Literacy Work Time: Kindergarteners chose and complete a variety of work to foster early literacy skills and fine motor development.

Lunch and Recess

Number of the Day: Whole group practice with counting and conceptualizing numbers.

Math Work Time: Working with math manipulatives and playing math games.

Alphabet Craft: Crafty creations to promote a love of literacy, fine motor skills, as well as developing focus and concentration.

Name Work and/or Poem of the Day: Whole group activities to promote early literacy skills.

Rest Time: A quiet time for relaxing or snoozing.

Snack Time: Yum!

Play Time: A time to develop fine and gross motor skills, build background knowledge, and develop social skills.

Read aloud, Songs, Dance and Movement: These activities happen between each main academic activity.

I hope this helps families get a better sense of what your child is experiencing each day!

Reading Lovelies

Here are my kindergarten lovelies enjoying books! Books and friends- the perfect combination!

20140613-134458-49498839.jpg

20140613-134457-49497788.jpg
Or if you prefer, a book and some solitude.

20140613-134616-49576334.jpg

D is for…

Each day in summer school we study a letter. We talk about the letters name and sound. We read a rhyme with the letter sound and practice writing the letter. We color that letter’s page in our alphabet book which helps us become more familiar with the letter’s shape.
Each day we also complete a craft activity about the letter. The purpose of the craft is to develop fine motor skills, concentration and task completion skills, as well as the skills do listening and following directions. The children love experiencing the satisfaction of focusing and following through to accomplish a goal.
Today our craft was an open ended craft in which the children cut out the letter “d”, glued it down, and turned it into something that starts with “d”. We had ducks, dinosaurs, doctors and donuts. It was fun to see the kids get creative and problem solve to make their creation. We learned first hand the importance of using tiny drops of glue so we could color with our ripping our papers. Constructivism in action!
Here are the kids working and a few of our finished projects.

20140613-133610-48970733.jpg

20140613-133612-48972873.jpg

20140613-133611-48971688.jpg

20140613-133613-48973777.jpg

20140613-133609-48969716.jpg